Ways to Reduce Anxiety Before Bed Without Pills
By Tammy Malloy, PhD, LCSW, CSAT
Around 3:00 in the afternoon is when it hits me. If I could only fall asleep right now, I bet I could sleep through the night.
Unfortunately, by the time it is “bedtime” my mind wants to think of 100 things that I have to do, and I must find solutions for 10 issues at work. Sleep struggles have been a part of my life since I was a small child. At the age of 12, my mother brought me to a psychologist that had me listen to tapes, yes tapes, every night that would have someone with a soothing voice telling me that my left arm was limp…this didn’t work as all I could think about was how annoying the person on the tape was. Others would tell me to meditate for 20-30 minutes before bed. This also didn’t work as during this time, I was planning my grocery list for the week and my to-do list for work the following day. After many years of my own research as a Ph. D. and Licensed Clinical Social Worker, I have found what works for me. Here are a few things that may help.
How to Reduce Anxiety Before Bed For Better Sleep Without Pills
Many people struggle with trying to fall asleep, but for someone with anxiety, this can be even more difficult. If you have yet to get treatment for anxiety
, then instead of drifting off to sleep, your mind may race and worries probably fill your head. If this sound likes you, try these tips to reduce anxiety before bed without sleeping medication.
Make Your Bedroom A Sanctuary & Follow A Routine
Having a bedtime routine is very helpful. As parents, we try to do this with our children, but we never think to do it for ourselves. This could look like a walk after dinner, followed by a bath or shower and light reading. Also, lavender, sage spray is very helpful. It calms the mind and also rids your sleep space of negative energy.
—Try these tips for better sleep without pills.
- remove your TV from the bedroom
- try not to eat large meals before bed
- make your bedroom dark
- get outside during the day to soak in as much natural light as possible
- AVOID screen time while lying in bed (phone, IPAD)
- limit caffeine…especially after 12:00 pm.
Schedule Your “Worry Time”
If you are someone that has lists for everything, get your to-do list completed at the end of your workday, not while you are trying to sleep!
— When issues start to creep up while you are getting ready for sleep, try this compartment exercise to reduce anxiety before bed.
- Close your eyes and picture a box that has a lid.
- Make sure that this box can lock
- Open the box and place anything negative that has happened this week or on this day and write it down on a sheet of paper (in your mind).
- Look at what you have written and place this inside your box.
- Now lock your box, and in your mind, walk away.
This can even be used throughout the week when faced with challenges.
There is no simple answer for how to get good night’s sleep. Different things work for different people. You have to find what works for you and don’t get discouraged. Just add structure to your nighttime routine and make your sleep space a place that you can relax. You will be sleeping in no time!
If your anxiety is just too much to handle on your own, get help. Our mental health treatment in Boca
works with patients to help them move past their crippling mental health issues and to get their lives under control.
Call us today at 888-280-4763 to learn more about our programs.